The Fair Housing Act (FHA) has had a tremendous impact on the lives of those living with a disability in the United States. Signed into law on April 11, 1968, the act serves as a proclamation that all Americans are entitled to fair housing, regardless of their race, religion, or disability. Additionally, it protects people from discrimination while “renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing.” However, there is much more to this act that most people don’t know. Let’s take a look at ten things you need to know about the Fair Housing Act.
- The Fair Housing Act is often viewed as a significant act for Civil Rights, following the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In fact, it was passed a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The act is enforced by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Fair Housing Act called for the creation of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), which works to enforce the act.
- Amended in 1988, protection is provided specifically to people with a disability. The act states that landlords cannot refuse people with a mental or physical disability “to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.”
- The act includes the mortgage lending process, making it illegal “to refuse to make a mortgage loan” or “discriminate in appraising property” based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
- The act includes many disabilities, breaking them down into four categories, including, mobility disabilities, visual disabilities, hearing disabilities, and cognitive disabilities and other hidden conditions.
- There are still violations of the act. Lawsuits are filed against landlords and others who practice discrimination.
- The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. According to the HUD website, “in some circumstances, the act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.”
- Buildings that are ready for first occupancy after March, 13, 1991, and that have an elevator and four or more units, must provide common areas that are accessible to people with disabilities. Furthermore, doors and hallways must be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
- HUD guidelines proclaim that “all advertising of residential real estate for sale or rent should contain an equal housing opportunity logotype, statement, or slogan as a means of educating the home-seeking public that the property is available to all persons.”
- If you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination, you can file a complaint to the HUD office closest to you.
Accessible housing for every individual regardless of their disability is a fundamental right.
At Scioto Properties, we provide accessible housing options for those who require it. To learn more about housing solutions for people with disabilities, contact Scioto Properties.